Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Asheville Lyric Opera premieres "Tosca" - April 12 & 13

On April 12th & 13th, the Asheville Lyric Opera will present the operatic masterwork Tosca by Giacomo Puccini. The ALO has been praised as an institution of culture in WNC and for its consistently remarkable offerings of operatic favorites. The company is proud to showcase stars of the opera world, paring them with professional regional artists. Both local Asheville audiences and those visiting this unique Southern city are delighted by the emotion, talent, and beauty presented each season. 
Puccini’s Tosca has thrilled audiences for ages with its story of intense romantic love, political upheaval, and the power of art. Set in 19th century Rome, this opera tells the story of a fiery young singer, Floria Tosca, and her beloved painter, Mario Cavaradossi. The two are deeply committed, yet still playing the quarreling love games of a young couple. Cavaradossi cares very much for Tosca, but finds himself conflicted as he attempts to aid the political revolutionary, Angelotti. The lovers are tested even to death by the scandalous dealings of the chief of police, Baron Scarpia, who at once illicitly pursues Tosca and remains an enemy to burgeoning citizen rights. The story comes from a hugely successful play to which many opera composers were attracted, but feared contained too intense a subject matter for the lyric beauty associated with this art form. Puccini flourished in the face of this challenge, in part due to his composition of the aria “Vissi d’arte”, the achingly beautiful song of Tosca at the height of the story’s drama.

The ALO’s premier performance of Tosca marks the end of its 14th season. The thrilling cast includes Kathy Pyeatt in the title role and La Scala tenor Steven Mark Brown as Cavaradossi. Pyeatt is a remarkably acclaimed singer who has won devoted fans across the nation for her vocal beauty and stunning stage presence. Brown has emerged as a tenor of staggering vocal and emotional power. It is no small accolades that Luciano Pavarotti said of him, “this tenor reminds me very much of myself.”  The cast also includes Metropolitan Opera featured baritone Galen Scott Bower as Scarpia, Dominic Aquilino as Cesare Angelotti, Ric Furman as Spoletta, & Roberto Flores as the Sacristan. 

This performance is an original production featuring lavish sets by Julie K. Ross and the expert direction of David Carl Toulson. Toulson boasts not only stunning credentials (he has worked alongside Placido Domingo and James Levine), but has crafted a strong identity of his own with the quality and liveliness of his works. CVNC wrote of a recent production he conducted for the ALO, “Indeed, I have never been present among an audience that responded to events on stage with as much uncontrolled enthusiasm as did the great majority of people around me.” Conductor Dan Allcott, music director of the Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, guarantees that the music will bring beauty and flourish to match

Performances begin at 8pm on both Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13, 2013 in the Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville, NC. The opera will be performed in original Italian with English supertitles provided throughout. Tickets are available at the theatre box office: 828-257-4530. Tickets to the Tosca April 10, 2013 Preview Dress Rehearsal at 7pm are available through the opera office.  Call the Asheville Lyric Opera at 828-236-0670 to make preview dress rehearsal reservations. 

For more information visit www.ashevillelyric.org.

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